Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

                                               NEWS RELEASE                                                  



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           August 8, 2003

Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) to be Site of First-Ever

Promise Keepers Conference Inside a State Prison

(Columbus) – Marion Correctional Institution (MCI), a 1,700 bed medium security prison located in Marion, Ohio, is scheduled to be the site of the first-ever Promise Keepers conference held in a state prison on August 12, 2003 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

In addition to the approximately 900 inmates who will attend the conference at MCI, more than 4,000 inmates in Ohio’s other institutions as well as those in participating institutions across the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia, will be able to watch the conference as it happens through a live simulcast via the internet.

“It has long been known in the field of corrections that faith-based programs are an important component of the rehabilitative process”, said Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director, Reginald A. Wilkinson. “Any program, whether religious or secular, that improves self-esteem and makes inmates aware of their responsibilities to family, victims and society is going to have a positive impact.”

The theme for the August 12 conference is “Redeem the Time.”

“The Department works to ensure every faith group has the opportunity to provide services in the institutions,” explained DRC Religious Services Director, Rev. Gary Sims. “Whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim, we want the inmates to have the opportunity to worship if they want it.”

For more information, please contact the DRC Bureau of Public Information at (614) 752-1150.